The study, which involved regulators surveyed about 6000 Britons to learn about their online experiences and habits, also showed that women felt less able to have a voice and share opinions online than their male counterparts, but the study also found that women tend to be more enthusiastic users of the Internet and major social media services.
Regulators are urging technology companies to listen to their findings and take immediate action to make their platforms more women-friendly and girls-friendly. Although regulators do not have the formal power to force the platform to change the way they operate, under the online security bill currently submitted to parliament, the bill will introduce the platform’s duty of care to protect users from a range of illegal and other types of harm, and it will be able to fine violators up to 10% of their global annual turnover.
As a result, the OFTA’s comments can be seen as a warning to social media giants such as Facebook and Instagram owner Meta, which will face close operational scrutiny from regulators once the law is passed and takes effect. Ofcom urged technology companies to take women’s online security seriously and put people’s safety at the heart of their services. This includes listening to user feedback when designing services and providing algorithms for content.
The study shows that in every way, women feel less positive about surfing the Internet than men. They just feel insecure, and they are more affected by hate speech and mockery. So, to be honest, there is a chilling effect that makes women feel less able to share their opinions online and to make their voices heard.